darren.chester.mp@aph.gov.au 1300 131 785
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November 27, 2009

The Nationals Member for Gippsland Darren Chester says Liberal Senators should ‘do the sensible thing’ and defer the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) legislation until after the Copenhagen summit.

Mr Chester said he would continue to fight against the Rudd Labor Government’s scheme which he believes is ‘not in the best interests of Gippslanders and the nation’.

“Australia’s contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions is just 1.4% and it makes no sense for us to introduce this massive new tax without any regard for the actions of countries such as the United States, China and India,” Mr Chester said.

“We need to know what action the rest of the world is prepared to undertake before we hit our businesses and households with a tax that will make us less competitive and cost jobs in a range of industries.

“The Nationals have taken a strong and united stance on this issue. We believe it is pointless for Australia to introduce legislation which hurts families and compromises our international competitiveness without delivering environmental benefits.

“This legislation is a vote for higher taxes – power bills will go up, gas bills will go up, transport costs will go up – it will increase the cost of living in all regional areas. Agriculture has been granted an exemption from direct inclusion in the ETS – but farmers will still face higher power costs and higher input costs that will reduce their competitiveness and undermine the household incomes of farming families.”

Mr Chester said his office had been inundated with emails from people concerned about the Labor Government’s ETS legislation.

“The community is waking up to the fact that they have been conned by Kevin Rudd,” Mr Chester said.

“I’ve received several hundred emails opposing the ETS this week and most of the messages have come from Liberal Party supporters. They are appealing for the Liberal Senators to do the sensible thing and defer consideration of the legislation until after Copenhagen and until the Prime Minister explains the full costs of the ETS.

“I’ve been fighting to protect jobs in Gippsland since this legislation was first mooted and the government is still refusing to be honest with the community and explain the full impacts of this scheme.”

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